While it's a leading web host, our SiteGround review took a closer look, and found a few flaws you should be aware of
SiteGround offers a selection of advanced hosting solutions, and you will often find it on lists of the best web hosting services. As our SiteGround review shows, its hosting solutions have a few flaws, but it’s certainly an option worth considering.
SiteGround review: Snapshot
SiteGround offers advanced web hosting solutions backed by a suite of excellent features. Its prices are a little high, but you get what you pay for. Rather than eliminating all but the essentials in an attempt to keep prices down, SiteGround aims to deliver all the tools you need to build and manage a new website.
On top of this, SiteGround is very easy to use. It boasts an excellent guided website setup, and the native management dashboard is well designed and easy to navigate. However, its performance, although not terrible, leaves a bit to be desired.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, Hostinger is a stand-out option. But if you’re happy to pay a little more for a high-end hosting subscription, SiteGround is up there with the best.
Read on for our full and detailed SiteGround review.
How does SiteGround compare to its main competitors?
|Pros||- Backed by loads of advanced features - Data centres across the world - Options for businesses of all sizes||- Excellent value for money - Has a beginner-friendly, highly-functional native control panel - Backed by advanced security controls||- Great performance across the board - Customer service is decent - Offers everything from shared hosting to dedicated servers|
|Cons||- A little on the expensive side - Server response times were a little slow||- High-end options are limited - Cheap plans have low storage limits||- The price structure is quite confusing - Newbies may have trouble with technical tasks|
|Verdict||With a range of advanced features, versatile hosting options, and fully managed solutions, SiteGround stands out as one of the best hosting providers we’ve seen.||With its focus on excellent and super low prices, Hostinger stands out as one of the best all-around web hosts on the market.||Hostwinds is a high-end hosting provider offering advanced, reliable solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes.|
|View deals||Visit site||Visit site||Visit site|
SiteGround: Key features
SiteGround focuses on offering a large range of features over rock-bottom prices, and this is immediately obvious. Every plan is packed full of of extras, from beginner-friendly management tools to advanced integrations for developers.
The recently added SiteGround Client Area is very well designed and beginner-friendly. It contains everything you need to manage your hosting plans, websites, domains, and more. There’s a neat billing portal, as well as a marketplace where you can find extensions to add functionality to your site.
On top of this, SiteGround does a great job of catering to beginners. The management panel contains cleverly-placed hints and prompts that are designed to guide new users without impeding those with more experience.
Speaking of streamlined use, SiteGround’s domain registration portal offers an efficient, hassle-free way to register new domains. Its prices are a little high, and you will have to pay more for domain privacy, but it is convenient.
Another thing that SiteGround includes with its shared hosting plans is a full staging environment. This enables you to make changes to a duplicate version of your site, leaving your live site as is until you’re ready to publish them. This is a useful tool, as it reduces the risk of making costly mistakes while editing.
There are also a few tools to help you boost your website’s speed. For one, you will benefit from a full Cloudflare CDN integration. This utilises an interconnected global network to ensure your content is rendered as fast as possible. Advanced caching is also available through SiteGround’s own SuperCacher tool.
Last but not least, SiteGround’s security tools should provide a high level of protection for your website. Automatic daily backups are available, and there’s a built-in SSL manager. The SG Site Scanner can be used if you’re concerned about virus or malware activity, and you can even block malicious IP addresses if required.
SiteGround’s features are great. We’ve only just scratched the surface here, and there are tools for users of all skill levels.
SiteGround: What’s new in 2022?
SiteGround provides regular updates, patching bugs and adding new features to improve the hosting experience that it offers. It released a summary of the updates implemented in 2021, and there was a lot to like.
For example, loads of speed and performance-boosting features were added. These included a full MySQL overthrow, dynamic caching, and the implementation of off-site backups. New WordPress tools were added, including a SiteGround WordPress security plugin, and all accounts were migrated from cPanel to SiteGround’s proprietary control panel.
SiteGround offers basic shared accounts, managed WordPress and WooCommerce options, advanced cloud hosting for larger businesses, and reseller hosting. In fact, its shared plans are identical to its WordPress and WooCommerce options.
Prices for a shared plan range from £2.99 to £7.49 a month for an initial 12-month subscription. However, these increase hugely to £11.99 to £29.99 a month on renewal, making SiteGround one of the more expensive options we’ve seen. These prices are the same for WordPress hosting
Advanced cloud hosting options range from £60 to £240 a month. You can also configure your own custom cloud to ensure you only pay for what you need.
SiteGround’s pricing plans
Shared, WordPress, and WooCommerce hosting
|Cost per month||£11.99||£19.99||£29.99|
|Cost per year||£143.88||£239.88||£359.88|
|Unlimited websites?||✖ (One)||✔||✔|
|Unlimited storage?||✖ (10GB)||✖ (20GB)||✖ (40GB)|
|Plan type/feature||Jump Start||Business||Business Plus||Super Power|
|Cost per month||£60||£120||£180||£240|
|Cost per year||£720||£1,440||£2,160||£2,880|
|Cost per month||£19.99||£29.99||£60|
|Cost per year||£239.88||£359.88||£720|
Ease-of-use and performance are crucial considerations when selecting the right web hosting provider, and we spent some time testing both. To do so, we created a basic website with SiteGround’s cheapest shared hosting plan, and monitored its performance for a 14-day period.
How easy is it to create a website with SiteGround?
Creating a new website with SiteGround is very straightforward. When you log into your main dashboard for the first time, you will see a "Websites" tab at the top of the screen. We navigated here and found a useful, easy-to-understand list of instructions for getting started.
There are a couple of different options here, including the ability to migrate an existing site. You can also build a site with some of the best website builders and systems including WordPress, WordPress and WooCommerce, Weebly, or from scratch. If you have more hosting knowledge, you can install your own CMS.
We selected the WordPress option, and our site was published within a couple of minutes. The entire setup process was carefully guided, and we had no issues whatsoever. From here, ongoing management is completed via the main WordPress admin panel.
How does SiteGround perform?
To test SiteGround’s performance, we created a basic WordPress website and monitored its uptime and server response times for a 14-day period. The results were a little surprising.
As a high-end hosting option, we expected SiteGround to have excellent performance. But the 482ms average server response time sits at the high end of the acceptable range. For comparison, the best hosts give figures around 200ms.
In saying that, the minimum and maximum response times were only 438ms and 561ms respectively, showing little fluctuation. The 99.99% uptime figure is also great to see, and our site was only offline twice for a total of two minutes during the testing period.
Alternatives to SiteGround
SiteGround is an excellent web host, but its somewhat high prices and average performance will concern some users. There are plenty of alternatives on the market, and two of our favorites are Hostinger and Hostwinds.
Hostinger, for one, is known as one of the most affordable web hosts around. However, it’s also one of the most powerful, and it tops our list of the best web hosting services. This is largely because of its generous features, great security, and excellent performance.
Like SiteGround, Hostinger’s cheaper plans come with quite limited storage. But its customer service is excellent, and the native hPanel control panel is super easy to use. On the downside, there are no high-end hosting options, and renewal prices are quite high, but Hostinger is an excellent option for most users.
In a similar way to SiteGround, Hostwinds offers high-end hosting solutions that focus on features rather than price. Because of this, it’s a little more expensive than providers like Hostinger, but you really do get what you pay for.
For example, Hostwinds’ performance is among the best we’ve seen. Its customer service team is fast and responsive, and there are loads of options for those who need rapid scalability. The cPanel control panel, Softaculous one-click installer, and built-in site builder are all excellent tools for beginners, but there’s plenty for advanced users as well.
SiteGround’s features compared to the competition
|Control panel||Proprietary panel||hPanel||cPanel|
|One-click installations||Yes, hundreds available through Softaculous||Yes, more than 100 applications||Yes, hundreds available through Softaculous|
|Support||24/7 live chat, phone, email||24/7 live chat and online ticketing||24/7 live chat, email, and online ticketing|
|Basic plan||£11.99 a month||£1.99 a month*||£4.30 a month*|
*First term discount price
SiteGround: Final verdict
SiteGround is a highly-rated web hosting provider, and it’s easy to see why. Sure, its prices are a little high and its performance could be better, but these are minor flaws when compared to the services on offer.
For example, SiteGround makes use of an excellent native control panel. It offers loads of advanced features, including a full staging environment and built-in caching. Creating a new website is super-easy, and the user interface is beginner-friendly and intuitive.
Now, SiteGround is a little more expensive than many of the alternatives. However, this is a case of getting what you pay for. The customer service is excellent, and despite the below-average server response times, you can expect passable performance as well.
At the end of the day, we’d suggest considering SiteGround if you’re looking for a high-end hosting provider that focuses on delivering advanced solutions rather than the lowest prices. If you need a budget option, look elsewhere.
Further reading on web hosting
To find out more about the best alternatives to Siteground, check out our guides to the best unlimited web hosting, and the best VPS hosting. If you’re still unclear about why you need hosting, you can find out more in our article asking what is web hosting? . Finally, if you've got a WordPress website or are looking to create one with one of the best WordPress website builders, the best WordPress hosting is ideal and is provided by many of the best web hosts.
Defending against malware attacks starts here
The ultimate guide to building your malware defence strategyFree Download
Datto SMB cyber security for MSPs report
A world of opportunity for MSPsFree Download
The essential guide to preventing ransomware attacks
Vital tips and guidelines to protect your business using ZTNA and SSEFree Download
Medium businesses: Fuelling the UK’s economic engine
A Connected Thinking reportFree Download